|Ignoring the signs ..|
The key to successfully dumping garbage in an unauthorized area is
your ability to get away undetected. While Australia has been used as
human garbage dump for many years, the actual people who do the dumping have
had to pay a significant price - often involving a prison sentence. This has
helped to keep the price high, and the market small.
But the latest arrival on Australia's Ashmore Reef has changed all that. 15
asylum seekers have
turned up on the tiny, normally uninhabited, island with no sign of a boat or
other vehicle which could have brought them there. Apparently someone dumped their
cargo and left.
This is partially a probe to test the mettle of the government in an
election lead-up, but it is also a change of strategy. They must have seen the
1950s sitcom where the man dumps the baby on the doorstep and presses the
door-bell before running away.
It's hard to know what their agreement is with their passengers, but if the
agreement is simply to deliver them to Australia, then they have fulfilled their
contractual obligations. Never mind that Ashmore Reef is excised, and that
the asylum-seeker's next stop will be Christmas Island or Nauru.
All parties are trying to capitalize on this of course. Amanda (Killer
Whale) Vandstone is gloating that it vindicates the excision policy for
Australia's remote islands. The ALP's Stephen Smith is whimpering
incoherently on your ABC.
"The Government says it is strong on border protection - the truth is it is
In fact, the ALP's stated asylum seeker policy of 'compassion for asylum
seekers, punishment for traffickers' has just been totally discredited. It
now equates to an open door policy, which of course is why they are screaming
so loudly about it being the government's fault, and about the government
capitalizing on it in the lead up to the election.
Well Stephen, demonstrating the inadequacy of the opposition's policies
is usually considered a legitimate thing do to in a democracy.
In reality, 15 people testing the mettle of Australia's minister for
immigration is not a security threat - it's just a security probe. They were
hundreds of miles from the mainland on a tiny island with very little food or
And most sensible thing to do with them would have been to simply leave
Calling them 'asylum-seekers' may have been a little hasty. Apparently these
people are Indonesian nationals who thought they would get jobs in
Australia picking fruit. There's not a lot of fruit picking gets done on
Ashmore reef, but they claim to have been 'tricked' by the people who dumped
them there. It's not actually clear whether they intended to seek asylum - they
are probably just straight-out illegals.